We arrived at the hearing on time and were directed to the annex building for eviction mediation. All of us sat on the benches in a room filled with awkward silence because both sides were present. Our opposition walked in the door in the form of the little grey-haired lady who served me the papers a couple of weeks ago.

She was the same lady whom I interviewed a week following that letter from the bank that threw me into a panic. After talking to the lawyer and realizing I needed witnesses, I returned to the courthouse and got the names of all the people I chatted with on the day of the auction, hoping they’d remember me. They did. When I saw her sitting there next to the door, I decided to ask her about protocol for auctions. Her name is Peggy Spencer of Tri-County Legal Process Services in Bend. I asked her where she would go if she auctioned my house. I showed her the wording in my auction papers and she replied, “I would go to the front steps.”

That’s where I was.

So, here was this lady whom I’d already met two other times. And then our mediator came out to call us in. She was someone who had looked at my house as a possible buyer when we tried to sell it. Small world.

Mediation began with us sitting at two tables in the courtroom with both tables facing the mediator. We began with having to sign an agreement that whatever was said would remain confidential, but whatever was agreed upon would be binding. Neither of us could subpoena her.

Peggy Spencer started the mediation off by saying, “I am only authorized to offer three weeks.”

I asked if the plaintiff would offer something like Cash for Keys. She called her client on the cell phone and he said, no. Three weeks was it.

We asked the mediator whether there were any more consequences to going to court other than being asked to leave sooner. She said, no.

So, we felt that, for very little risk, we could present our case to the court and see what the judge ruled. Perhaps the facts that I logged a minute-by-minute account of the fictitious auction and had witnesses would sway him that the bank needed to go through the foreclosure process again.

We felt it was worth trying. It was a small gamble.

If Paul had a job somewhere, I think we would have accepted the three weeks. But until there is a clear place to go, I feel we should stay and try to win our case.

We have to check the mail for the court date. Once the court date is set, we can subpoena the witnesses.

Then, it all depends on how the judge interprets the case. Perhaps we’ll find favor with him.

I pray that this is so.

I feel peaceful about leaving it in his hands. I am ready to stay or to go. I just want to do our part in making the banks follow the law.

They seem to steamroll over so many families.

Worse-case scenario: we leave sooner than three weeks.

Best-case scenario: we get more time and possible money for leaving the house in a good condition.